Beyond Fashion

I have graduated. I have moved beyond fashion.

Fashion is not usually a term associated with men’s clothing, unless the garb is for a male is in his early twenties, single, and looking to make the nightclub scene. Any male who would even try to “make the scene” is probably one to which the term “men’s fashion” would apply. Aside from that, men’s clothing is a more appropriate term, though clothing manufacturers probably still refer to men’s garments as fashions. But I digress.

I dabbled in men’s fashions when I was twenty. I have purchased an item or two at Chess King, shirts with bold nightclub striped patterns on them, or made of brushed cotton with a peculiar sheen. I have worn these shirts a time or two when stepping out to “make the scene” at the dance clubs. I have even danced at the mentioned clubs, though not with any woman who would refuse to be seen with a guy wearing dirty white tennis shoes, OshKosh painter’s pants, and a sheeny stripy shirt.

After that period, I went through my Banana Republic phase, wearing what amounted to explorer or savanna shirts in natural dye colors, the kind of thing one might see on the Australian outback. I was as likely to wear these clothes to the discotheque as the Chess King shirts, and as likely to dance in them with any woman who didn’t mind being seen with a guy in dirty white tennis shoes, OshKosh painter’s pants, and outbacky explorer shirts.

After that came my Eddie Bauer period, featuring casual clothes in muted solid colors. At this time I stopped going to the clubs. I stopped dancing. I stopped “making the scene.” I started making my own dinners. I changed my pants. I went out with women who didn’t mind indulging in artistic pursuits with a guy who wore dirty white tennis shoes, casual pullovers, and jeans.

Slowly, I switched from brand name to no-name clothing. I built up a generic wardrobe of unpretentious, unexceptional tops in various colors, along with blue jeans, and khakis. I got married. I got a job.

Now I have no fashion other than the average-guy apparel hanging in my closet. I only shop to replace, not to be trendy. When a green shirt wears out, I buy another green shirt. When a pair of blue jeans gets a hole in the seat, I replace it with an equivalent pair. When I drop a hot dog on my khakis and create a large mustard stain, the pants become housework clothing, and I swap them with an older pair of khakis with a smaller stain. The clothes stay consistent over time, the apparel equivalent of a Ship of Theseus or Golden Palace - the individual garments may change, but the idea, the fashion, does not. And when fashion no longer changes, by definition, it is no longer fashion.

So now I am beyond fashion. And it shows.